Sunday

31st Jul 2016

Cameron: No second chance after Brexit vote

  • Cameron: "This is a vital and final decision for our country" (Photo: Number 10)

British prime minister David Cameron warned that the UK would not be able to negotiate another deal, and have another referendum in case British voters chose to leave the EU in a referendum set for 23 June.

Cameron, who sealed a deal with fellow EU leaders last week on a reformed UK membership of the EU, set out the agreement to lawmakers Monday.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

In a thinly veiled attack on London mayor Boris Johnson, who Sunday said he would support the UK leaving the EU and suggested that a better deal for the UK and another referendum would be possible after a No vote, Cameron said: “This is a vital and final decision for our country”.

The Conservative Party leader outlined to lawmakers that if British voters voted to leave, he would invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, the mechanism for exiting the bloc.

It would trigger two years of negotiations, after which the UK would be presented with a package by the EU.

Cameron warned however that after two years if there is no agreement then exit is automatic, unless all other 27 members agree to delay it.

“It is not an invitation to rejoin,” Cameron said, adding this would create uncertainty, endanger jobs, as 53 trade deals and access to the single market would be cut immediately.

Aiming at his Tory rival, Johnson, and his idea of a second referendum, Cameron said: “I won't dwell on the irony that some people who want to leave want to use a leave vote to remain. I know a number of couples who have begun divorce proceedings, but none who have done so to renew their marriage vows”.

Risk national security

Cameron warned the House of Commons it was not the time to divide Europe, amid threats from ISIS and Russia.

“The challenges facing the West today are genuinely threatening ... In my view this is no time to divide the West,” he told parliament.

“The only person I can think of who would like us to leave the EU is Vladimir Putin,” he added.

Cameron also warned that a vote to leave the EU would risk Britain's economic and national security.

The fear of Brexit drove Britain’s currency, the pound sterling, down to its lowest level in almost seven years, when it was in the midst of the financial crisis.

The pound has traded as low as $1.406, a fall of more than three cents (or 2.3 percent) since Friday night.

Moody’s credit rating agency also warned that Brexit would be bad for the UK economy.

In an apparent rebuttal of comments made by senior Tory politician Iain Duncan Smith, Europe's policing agency said Monday that Britain's citizens could be left more vulnerable to attacks by terror groups and organised crime gangs if they decided to leave the European Union.

"I see a very clear picture of the UK's dependency on the EU to help protect its security interest," Europol's director Rob Wainwright said in The Hague.

He warned the UK "will no longer have the benefits that it currently has", direct access to databases, taking part in intelligence projects and other areas.

Duncan Smith had said that remaining in the EU made the UK more vulnerable to a Paris-style terrorism attack.

Brussels not in campaign mode

The European Commission said Monday it would not take part in the campaign to keep Britain in the EU.

“The commission will not campaign, will not take part in the campaign,” spokesman Margaritis Schinas told journalists.

“I don't see the commission having a role in a campaign that is for the British people and the British people alone,” he added.

The commission has not always been so firm. The EU executive strongly supported the ‘Yes’ vote in the lead up to a Greek referendum on the EU-IMF bailout terms in July last year.

“A 'No' would mean ... that Greece had said no to Europe,” EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker had said ahead of the vote.

Opinion

EU political pressure alone cannot save the rule of law

The situation in Poland shows that democracy, the rule of law and human rights do not speak for themselves. If the Union wants to safeguard its fundamental values, it must create support for them among Europeans.

Merkel faces backlash after killings

The German chancellor faces mounting criticism at home for her refugee policy after asylum seekers carried out several attacks over the last week.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline: An Opportunity or a Scam in the Making for Albania?
  2. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen: I Condemn All Threats to Turkey's Democracy
  3. GoogleHelping Emergency Services Find You When You Need It Most
  4. Counter BalanceWhat's New in the Investment Plan for Europe: Business as Usual or True Innovation ?
  5. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event 2016
  6. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  7. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  8. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  11. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  12. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children

Latest News

  1. EU encouraged car industry to cheat, French report says
  2. Terrorism and migration top EU public's concern
  3. Spain's Rajoy warns of minority rule
  4. Car lobby complained about emissions tampering by others
  5. Critical IMF report heralds new Greek bailout battle
  6. EU free movement must be curbed, UK says
  7. EU political pressure alone cannot save the rule of law
  8. Merkel: Attacks won't change refugee policy